Kadimastem (TASE: KDST)
is a bio-pharmaceutical company that develops industrial regenerative medicine therapies based on differentiated cells derived from Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESCs) to treat neuro-degenerative diseases such as ALS and Diabetes
Kadimastem’s visionary positioning and founding principles stem from the success of Professor Michel Revel’s previous invention of a blockbuster drug.
The company is developing revolutionary regenerative therapies based on stem cells, moving away from the traditional curative therapies. The technology has been developed as a platform enabling the manufacturing of islet-like endocrine cells and glia restricted progenitors thus having potential applications for diabetes, and for neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS.
The therapy is scalable and industrialized, to be commercialized as a stable “off the shelf” product and reduce the cost of treatments. For this, Kadimastem uses pluripotent cells (e.g. embryonic stem cells - hESCs) that have a unique ability to multiply infinitely without losing their "naivety" and to be able to become any cell type.
The product is produced under GMP guidelines (similar to traditional therapeutics) in order to reach optimal medical results. The company developed a groundbreaking process to differentiate the cells in the lab, before their injection into the patient, unlike other technologies which transplant immature precursor cells. The company’s process markedly enhances the efficiency of the treatment.
"After the success of the drug REBIF® for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, a drug that originated from my lab at the Weizmann Institute of Science, and for which the Merck company, that markets it, celebrates this year the 20th anniversary of its approval, we have now reached a new achievement in the development of drugs for severe neurological diseases.
Kadimastem, which I founded with Mr. Yossi Ben Yosef in 2009, has succeeded in applying the technology of human pluripotent stem cells to industrially produce a type of glial cells, whose function is to protect the survival of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Since these protective cells do not function in ALS patients, and as a result there is motor neuron degeneration and paralysis of all the body muscles, the healthy glial cells that Kadimastem produces can be used to regenerate neuroprotection and restore survival of the nerve cells. Kadimastem established a pharmaceutical grade production line for this product, named AstroRx, conducted extensive trials of efficacy and safety in animals, including ALS models, and met all requirements to receive approval for use in humans and authorization to start a first clinical trial, which will take place at Hadassah Medical Center. The development of this new cell therapy for ALS is a tremendous achievement for Kadimastem and its scientific and regulatory teams, and an important milestone for the biotech industry in Israel."